More than 2,500 recalled to hospital over fears they had deadly brain conditions misdiagnosed

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust is re-examining neurology consultant Dr Michael Watt's treatment of brain conditions such as MS, Parkinson's Disease and Motor Neurone Disease.

Concerns were initially raised by a GP about a patient's diagnosis and treatment in December 2016.

It is believed to be the largest patient recall in Northern Irish medical history.

The trust has said it is "truly sorry" for having to recall thousands of patients, some as young as 14.

Dr Mark Mitchelson, medical chair of division, said: "I fully understand this will cause significant anxiety to many patients and their families and for that we are truly sorry.

"Other doctors raised concerns with the Trust regarding the care and treatment provided by Dr Michael Watt to a small number of patients.

"As a result of our own review and a further review carried out by the Royal College of Physicians, we would like to invite a number of his patients back for a review appointment to assure them, their families, and ourselves that they are receiving the best treatment.

"The recall of such a large number of patients is so that we can be confident and thorough in ensuring that patients are having the best possible care.

"To ensure patients are seen as quickly as possible we have set up a large number of additional clinics and we intend to see all patients within the next 12 weeks.

"Again, we are truly sorry for the anxiety this will cause."

Dr Mitchelson said nine neurology consultants in the trust would be running 200 additional clinics starting from Saturday 5 May.

The Belfast Trust said it has contacted every patient it would like to review and is now asking patients to make contact so that an appointment can be made.

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